My main inspiration has always derived from science fiction, although I’d say its role in my work is implicit rather than explicit. For my show at CHART, I’ve ended up thinking quite a bit about Solaris, a book by one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Stanisław Lem. A few pieces in this larger body of work are related to aspects of this story — even if only in retrospect after making them, as entry points into some of the imagery.
For example, in a piece titled Hiraeth, a pitch-black sky anchors a drawing resembling reeds and reflections. I had in mind an early scene from the 1972 Tarkovsky film adaptation of Solaris. The protagonist is contemplating the reeds and light playing off the water on Earth before heading to the sentient planet; this scene functions as an emotional tether to home and amplifies the disorientation and alienness of the rest of the film set on an unfamiliar planet. Hiraeth is a Welsh word that conveys a deep sense of longing, for a time, a place that may not exist anymore. I think invisible psychological attachments (made visible) are an interesting lens for the film, as in life, we all have these sinuous tethers that tug at us, whether they’re to a mother country, people we’ve lost, the womb… I think this space of loss, memory, and longing is also ripe for examining our relationship with our planet.